NEW figures from a study have revealed Southend Council spent more than £4.5 million on electricity and gas across a 12-month period to last March.

The figures from Box Power CIC, an energy consultancy company, show the authority spent £4,661,865 between March 2022 and March 2023.

This was split into £3,509,525 on electricity and £1,152,340 on gas and 14,211,953 kilowatts of electricity was used along with 15,841,801 kilowatts of gas.

Southend Councillors spoke about the authority’s commitment to bring down costs and remain energy efficient.

Tony Cox, Southend Council and Conservatives leader, said: “We are committed to reducing our energy use as much as possible, particularly considering rising energy costs which add to our financial challenge, and considering our commitment to reduce our impact on the environment.

“The council runs and manages several buildings, including the Civic Centre, libraries and many other operational buildings.

“However, since COVID the council has reduced its carbon footprint greatly, with the closure of the top five floors of the Civic Centre.

“Actions like this helped to reduce our electricity usage by 18 per cent when comparing usage from July to September 2023 to the same period in 2022.”

The figures also revealed the total sum for the county of Essex was £23,058,283 meaning Southend made up 20 per cent of the entire energy usage.

Basildon Council’s figures were not included in the study however a freedom of information request submitted late last year on energy numbers.

The data included information on The Basildon Centre in St Martins Square where the Basildon Council offices are based.

For the period of November 1, 2022, to October 31, 2023, the total electricity kilowatt hours used was 951,951 kwh with a total cost of £330,137.

A spokesman for Basildon Council said: “Our goals are net zero for council activities in terms of carbon reduction.”

Regarding Southend Council’s plans, Mr Cox added: “We will continue to review the use and operation of all our buildings to ensure our overall estate is operated in the most effective and efficient way.

“We also have dedicated piece of work as part of our wider transformation programme to look at ways to reduce the cost of running our buildings, which will lower our energy costs and contribute to reducing our carbon footprint.”

For more information on the study visit Box Report - Box Power.